Cleveland Browns: 7 players that need to stay to rebuild the brand

Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield (Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield (Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Denzel Ward (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

#4 – CB Denzel Ward

Denzel Ward was taken with the fourth draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft that has proven to be filled with all sorts of impressive defensive talents. Taken in front of Bradley Chubb, Quenton Nelson, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tremaine Edmunds, Derwin James, and Leighton Vander Esch, Ward has already been to the Pro Bowl but has at times struggled with the inconsistency of the team’s defensive schemes.

Ward is still young and has plenty of upsides. He’s a big long corner, at nearly six feet, who’s also fast as heck, clocking in at a 4.32 40-yard dash. Ward has shown to have blown some assignments and has had a bit of a struggle to adjust to the changing schemes each new head coach brings in with him. The biggest issue though is that Ward has found himself unable to completely stay healthy. In two years he’s already missed seven games. As he gets older, injuries will only happen more frequently and he’ll need to prove he can stay healthy if he wants to be around long term.

Ward has struggled at times in coverage, but hopefully, some improvements along the defensive line will help the pass rush, which will take care of some of the coverage issues. Some help over the top would be good too, as his running mate was expected to be Jabrill Peppers, but he was shipped off in that now ill-advised trade with the New York Giants.

With the development of Greedy Williams next to him, and hopefully a new crop of safeties behind him, Ward should develop into the player we all hoped he could be.